Sunday, May 9, 2021

My Dirty Old Lady


This is Helen. She's named after my maternal grandma who I never met but she was an amazing seamstress who clothed eleven children during the depression and could make anything the family needed.  Grandma I was told would get 'hand me downs' from people at church and would rework them into clothes, coats and more for her family.  I remember my mom saying that they were always dressed beautifully because of her mom's sewing talent. Helen and I go way back.  All the way to 1993 when my dad purchased her for me.  Back then, this machine cost 3,500.00!!  Can you believe that? It was the first home embroidery machine and was made in Germany by the Pfaff Company.  To this day, it is still one of the most coveted of sewing machines and it's not unheard of to see them still selling for 900-1500.00, used.  

But Helen had become a dirty, old lady.  I was hesitant to try cleaning her myself as she's electronic and I was afraid I'd ruin something.  Then I read about Carole at From My Carolina Home and her tutorial on Pfixing the Pfaff (Yes, Pfaff is pronounced Faff!).  Carole gives a wonderful step-by-step tutorial on cleaning this machine so I took the plunge!

My, my, my . . . Helen had been dishing dirt for quite awhile it appears . . .

Just look at all that nastiness!  Following Carole's instructions, I had removed the covers on top and side and began cleaning. I used my vacuum (I think here would be a great place to use one of those little computer/keyboard vacs!), pipe cleaners, nylon brush and tweezers to begin cleaning Helen up.

The pipe cleaners were great for getting down inside and around gears, etc.   Look at all of these little threads that were caught up inside!

After oiling the parts that Carole recommended, it was time to step back and admire this spiffy gal!

What a difference, right?

Beautiful inside AND out!  

Thanks Carole at From My Carolina Home!


  1. Wow Helen is clean and sparkling and ready to go. What a nice job of cleaning. Hope you had a great Mom's Day. Have a great week. xoxo

  2. It looks so beautiful now! I'm sure Helen will feel much better sewing away now. :)

  3. Wow, you and Helen go way back, Lauren. She looks great now that she is all cleaned. Loved hearing about your Grandma who made clothes for all her 11 children. My Mom was a talented seamstress also, and made many of my clothes and even doll clothes. It's such a talent to be able to sew. And now, you have the same talent as your Grandma.


  4. Helen has had a spa day and I'm sure she's more than grateful!

  5. I think Helen had a spa day and is rejuvenated.

  6. What a great machine. I'm impressed that you opened Helen up, and what a great job you did cleaning her.


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